IM Ireland- England 2013 Tour : Day 5 :Cotswold

Since I wasn’t able to enjoy some of the natural spring baths they still offer to

visitors in Bath, I felt obligated to run myself a bath that morning in the hotel room.

I think I managed to equal the sense of majesty and opulence within the confines of

the tub. After all, the wall paper depicting steamy Roman baths plastered on the

back of the shower and the nearly $300/night hotel room surely met my

expectations of opulence. Only breakfast convinced me to get out of the tub and get

dressed for our tour through the Cotswolds.

I have a love-hate relationship with the countryside. Nature continues to

astound me everyday, and going hiking or talking a stroll are activities I do

regularly. No matter how many times my dad insists on calling me, “nature girl,”

because of that one time I expressed an affinity to pet a dog, I know that in reality

the city always draws me. In almost every tour so far, I can always recollect the

highlight of the tour being a city and the rest of the tour interspersed with sites in

the countryside. I assume this would be the time that I would normally say how the

countryside in England changed my mind, but I’m afraid even the vast fields colored

bright yellow by the blooming rapeseed couldn’t change my prejudices. It is

interesting to note that rapeseed is mainly harvested for oil, animal feed, and can

also be processed as biofuel.

The Cotswolds are a set of rolling hills in England that mainly lies within the

counties of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. Designated as an “Area of Outstanding

Natural Beauty” by the U.K. Government, the Cotswolds contains numerous villages

built from the natural Cotswold stone, a yellow limestone rich in fossils. Many

wealthy people own second homes and continue to make the area very prosperous.

As we drove out of Bath on our way to London we stopped by a couple of these


Our first stop was at the town of Tetbury. At the town’s center is the Market

House, a historical building built in 1655 and still in use today as a market. Even in

the early morning we could see people from the town casually strolling the busy

commerce streets surrounding the Market House.

While Tetbury was exactly what I expected from the English countryside, the

Rack Isle in Bibury was the first instance where I think I began to change my mind

about the countryside. Named after the wooden racks on which cloth was dried, the

Rack Isle is considered one of the most picturesque spots in the Cotswolds. I’m not

even kidding the place looked like it came out of a fairytale book. I honestly would

not have been surprised if Belle from Beauty and the Beast had come bursting out of

one of the cottages and started to sing and play with the swans on the river. Even as

I’m writing this I still can’t believe such a place actually exists.

After that experience, I even looked fondly at the passing fields of rapeseed

flowers. If there’s anything I can hardly pass up on, it’s ice cream. Enjoying a cone of

delicious strawberry and cream ice cream at the top of the hill in the town of Buford

was the ultimate turning point in my view of the countryside. Sure I may still be a

self-appointed “city girl,” but come on, how can I resist eating ice cream in a place

that looks like the fantasy world of my childhood bedtime stories?

Pictures can be viewed at Indonesia Media’s page on Facebook :


Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *